Anna of Trebizond

Anna of Trebizond

Anna Anachoutlou Megale Komnene (Greek: Άννα Μεγάλη Κομνηνή, "Anna Megalē Komnēnē"), (died 1342), Empress of Trebizond from July 17, 1341 to September 4, 1342. Anna was the elder daughter of Emperor Alexios II of Trebizond and his Georgian wife, Djiadjak Jaqeli.

Anna was a nun, but during the unsuccessful reign of Irene Palaiologina she had been persuaded by Trapezuntine nobles to abandon her monastic vows, and seize the crown. She was proclaimed empress in Lazica and advanced on Trebizond. Wherever she went, the people joined the revolt and when Anna, reinforced by the troops send by the Georgian king George V, arrived at the walls of Trebizond on July 17, 1341 she was admitted without resistance and acclaimed Empress, while Irene was deposed.

Three weeks later three Byzantine galleys sailed to Trebizond with troops under the leaders of the Scholarioi faction, Niketas and Gregory. With them came Anna's uncle Michael, who was the husband chosen for the now deposed Irene by the regents of her half-brother John V Palaiologos. The Metropolitan Akakios and some of the nobility seemed to accept Michael as the legitimate ruler of Trebizond. Not wishing to be governed by a forceful man of mature years, they promptly imprisoned Michael in the palace, while Anna's Lazic troops dispersed the crowd supporting Michael and plundered his ships.

The next day Michael was sent off in exile to Oinaion, where he was guarded by Grand Duke John the Eunuch and Anna's predecessor Irene Palaiologina was sent off to Constantinople on a western ship. For the moment, Anna ruled unchallenged, although she was actually a puppet in the hands of the ruling nobility. At the same time the people remained discontent, and the Turkmen plundered the countryside.

Niketas and Gregory, the leaders of the Scholarioi, returned to Constantinople and convinced the government to give them Michael's young son, John, as a claimant to the throne of Trebizond. In September 1342, with the help of the Genoese, John's small forces (5 galleys) made their way to Trebizond. Although Anna and her courtiers prepared to defend themselves, they were sabotaged by a popular revolt. John's supporters took control of the city on September 4, 1342 and crowned John III emperor. The Scholarioi executed many of their rivals, and Anna was strangled soon after her deposition.


* W. Miller, "Trebizond: The Last Greek Empire of the Byzantine Era", Chicago, 1926.

External Links

* [ Testament of Gerasimos about monastery founded by Anna at Jerusalem]
* [ Discussion of Testament]

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